Numerical analyses of pile performance in laterally spreading frozen ground crust overlying liquefiable soils
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Lateral spread of frozen ground crust over liquefied soil has caused extensive bridge foundation damage in the past winter earthquakes. A shake table experiment was conducted to investigate the performance of a model pile in this scenario and revealed unique pile failure mechanisms. The modelling results provided valuable data for validating numerical models. This paper presents analyses and results of this experiment using two numerical modeling approaches: solid-fluid coupled finite element (FE) modeling and the beam-on-nonlinear-Winkler-foundation (BNWF) method. A FE model was constructed based on the experiment configuration and subjected to earthquake loading. Soil and pile response results were presented and compared with experimental results to validate this model. The BNWF method was used to predict the pile response and failure mechanism. A p-y curve was presented for modelling the frozen ground crust with the free-field displacement from the experiment as loading. Pile responses were presented and compared with those of the experiment and FE model. It was concluded that the coupled FE model was effective in predicting formation of three plastic hinges at ground surface, ground crust-liquefiable soil interface and within the medium dense sand layer, while the BNWF method was only able to predict the latter two.
Keywordsfrozen ground crust lateral spread Finite Element (FE) modeling BNWF method
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This study was jointly sponsored by the US Department of Transportation through Alaska University Transportation Center and the State of Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (AK DOT&PF) under Project AUTC #410015. Their support is gratefully acknowledged. The authors are especially thankful to Mr. Elmer E. Marx, Bridge Engineer at the AK DOT&PF, for the thoughtful suggestions and comments he provided for this study.
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